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Friday, November 4, 2016

Autism Parents on Trump

In The Politics of Autism, I discuss the issue's role in presidential campaigns.   In this campaign, a number of posts have discussed Trump's support for the discredited notion that vaccines cause autism.  He also has a bad record on disability issues more generally.

If Donald Trump becomes president, I believe my family has so much to lose. And I’m scared.

Now, as a family, we have made peace with autism. My son is part of autism, and autism is a part of him. I do not think we would change it — it’s been part of us so long.

But I'm worried because you can tell a lot about a person by how they treat those who need help: the temporarily infirm, the disabled and the elderly, the sick and the poor.
Those who have a path harder to walk than most. It’s an idea that goes beyond Republican and Democrat and floats in the soft space of humanity: taking care of those people in our country that cannot, through no fault of their own, care for themselves.
As Trump laughs at disabled reporters, mocks a deaf actress, and questions essential foundations of national health, I worry about the future — my future, my son’s future, your future. Trump's lack of empathy is what truly makes me afraid.
I worry that if Trump is our president, there will be a dangerous shift in tolerance toward children and adults like my son.
If the president of the United States makes fun of disabled persons, who will stop the children on the playground? Will my son be the victim of taunts and harassment from kids or even grown adults who are just modeling the behavior of the most powerful man in the country?
I can’t vote for the school-yard bully. So, world, I have a simple request: Think about your own children. And if you can, think about mine.
Electing Donald Trump will speak dangerous loud volumes — far more than a parent’s words could ever say. That kind of president is not one I want.
WTVD-TV in Raleigh-Durham, NC reports:
North Carolina voters are divided nearly down the middle this presidential election and we asked you why you were supporting your candidate. Here's what viewers had to say about their support of Hillary Clinton.

Burnette Brown's response on our Facebook page was the most liked out of nearly 600 comments. Her response read in part:
"Hillary is the lesser of the two evils sometimes bad experience is better than no experience, this is one of those cases."

Amy Hodges, had the second most liked response, and her reasons for voting Clinton were very personal.
"I'm voting for Hillary because I have twin 7 year olds with Autism: I don't think that they have a place in Donald Trump's America," she said. "I need a president that will stand up for their rights and show the world that they are different, not less. Not a president who will mock and bully them."